Port of Oakland rolling out RFID system

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The Port of Oakland is turning to radio frequency identification technology to improve the efficiency of its trucking operations and to bolster security. The port announced Tuesday, March 13, that it has been rolling out an active RFID system using tags and readers from WhereNet Corp., a wireless asset tracking and management solutions provider, over the past month.

WhereNet says that it is in the process of distributing RFID tags to trucking companies that ship material to Port of Oakland facilities. The companies are self-installing the tags in the cabs of their vehicles, WhereNet says. The tags will be read by RFID readers as trucks enter the Oakland International Container Terminal, ensuring that all vehicles are identified and tracked while at the facility, port officials say.

“WhereNet’s real-time locating system technology provides container ports with another critical layer of security as we continue to protect our nation from terrorist threats,” says Mike O’Brien, port facilities security officer for the Port of Oakland. “While enhancing security measures is always a work in progress, we consider beginning to identify and track trucks on our premises with the latest technology as an important step forward.”

Under the program, the RFID tag on a truck arriving at the OICT security check-in sends a signal to one of the readers in the terminal, where its unique identity is checked against a trucking database to ensure that it is authorized for entry into the facility, WhereNet says. The system will allow OICT to monitor the movements of trucks participating in the program in real time until they leave the terminal.

Similar RFID systems have been deployed at other ports, including Los Angeles/Long Beach and Seattle, WhereNet says.